The U.S. keeps smashing its own records for COVID-19 cases as the fall surge of the coronavirus is running rampant across the country.
On Thursday, a record 153,496 new COVID-19 cases were tallied in the U.S., just 10 days after it had crossed the 100,000 daily new case threshold.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, signaled some hope Thursday: The pandemic won’t be around “a lot longer,” he said, but public health officials might need to “maintain control chronically” over COVID-19.
Meanwhile states and cities are clamping down and enacting new restrictions to slow the spread. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will announce new coronavirus measures Friday, while Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday a stay-at-home advisory set to go into effect Monday morning.
A day after Texas became the first state to record at least 1 million cases of COVID-19, California also reached the same marker. Eleven counties there were ordered this week to drop a notch on the state’s tiered reopening schedule.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 10.5 million cases and 242,400 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 52.8 million cases and 1.29 million deaths.
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.
This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.
A Texas appeals court in El Paso has put a temporary stop to El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego’s order shutting down nonessential businesses in El Paso County.
The Eighth Court of Appeals in El Paso on Thursday granted requests to temporarily halt the order. The requests were made by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and a group of 10 El Paso restaurant companies, who argue that Samaniego’s order is illegal because it is counter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Oct. 7 order tied to reopening Texas businesses.
The court, in a 2-1 decision, ruled several sections of Samaniego’s order cannot be enforced, including shutting down nonessential businesses, until the court makes its final judgment, which is expected Friday.
“We exercise our discretion to preserve the status quo as it existed just prior to the issuance of the county’s later, more restrictive Stay-at-Home Order” until the court makes its final judgment, the court ruled.
– Vic Kolenc and Eleanor Dearman, El Paso Times
More than 2,000 nurses represented by a union plan to go on strike next week as a surge in coronavirus cases continues to overwhelm hospitals nationwide.
In Bucks County, more than 760 nurses at St. Mary Medical Center will go on strike starting Tuesday unless they reach a contract with the hospital’s owner Trinity Health. In Philadelphia, some 500 nurses at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and about 1,000 at Einstein Medical Center have also authorized to strike, the New York Times reported.
“Nurses are stretched so thin, and I know they’re not able to get where they need to be,” Maria Plano, a nurse at St. Christopher’s and the union’s vice president, told CBS Philly. “We need some kind of guidelines where nurses are in the discussion and helping to make the decisions.”
In a statement last week, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals said nurses are being “pushed to the brink by unsafe staffing that seriously undermines patient safety,” the newspaper reported.
With coronavirus cases in the U.S. reaching an all-time high this week, the Ivy League announced Thursday that it is shutting down its entire 2020-21 winter sports season.
“With the health and well-being of student-athletes and the greater campus community in mind, The Ivy League Presidents decide to forego athletics competition in fall and winter sports, postpone competition in spring sports through February 2021,” the league wrote in a statement posted to Twitter.
In July, the Ivy League was the first conference to announce the cancellation of its fall sports season as a result of the pandemic. Meanwhile, other conferences have run into multiple roadblocks in an attempt to continue their fall seasons.
– Steve Gardner
Costco, which was one of the first retailers to mandate shoppers wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, is updating its face mask policy. Starting Monday, the wholesale club says it will require all members, guests and employees to wear a face mask or face shield with the exception of children under 2.
“Members and guests must wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose at all times,” Costco said on its COVID-19 updates page. “Individuals who are unable to wear a face mask due to a medical condition must wear a face shield. … Entry to Costco will be granted only to those wearing a face mask or face shield.”
Costco’s original policy went into effect in early May and didn’t require shoppers with medical conditions to wear masks.
– Kelly Tyko
SeaDream Yacht Club’s SeaDream I, one of the first cruise ships to ply through Caribbean waters since the pandemic began, ended its trip early after at least five passengers tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Thursday.
The SeaDream I is carrying 66 crew and more than 50 passengers, with the majority of passengers hailing from the U.S. according to Sue Bryant, who is aboard the ship and is a cruise editor for The Times and The Sunday Times in Britain.
She told The Associated Press that one passenger became sick on Wednesday and forced the ship to turn back to Barbados, where it had departed from on Saturday. However, the ship had yet to dock in Barbados as local authorities tested those on board. The captain announced that at least five passengers have tested positive, Bryant said.
Contributing: The Associated Press